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9/10 anime RPG on Steam gets hefty discount – but not for long

An unforgettable experience at 60 percent off

Anime RPGs on Steam vary pretty wildly in quality, and most don’t manage to get over 90 on Metacritic, with a few exceptions. The big one that gets most of the attention is Persona 5 Royal, and for good reason. We even called it one of the best anime RPGs around. There’s another one that often flies under the radar, though, and you can grab it for less than $20 right now.

NieR Automata is 60 percent off on Steam, down to $15.99 from its usual $34.99, until the Steam spring sale ends on March 21, 2024. It’s one of just a small number of RPGs on Steam – that aren’t Persona 5 Royal – to get a Metacritic rating over 90, and there’s a darn good reason for that: It’s fantastic and genuinely unforgettable.

It’s also better than its prequel, NieR Replicant, though Replicant is worth playing as well.

NieR Automata follows the exploits of a group of androids fighting to reclaim Earth after an army of rogue machines destroyed the planet and drove humans into space. Those humans control the robots from the safety of a space fleet and treat them as expendable, which, to be fair, they are.

2B – the exceptionally stylish hero of the story – 9S and all the others can regenerate in new bodies, albeit with their memories wiped, which raises a number of questions about the meaning of life and the nature of experience. NieR Automata explores these and similar topics with a surprising level of depth and sensitivity, with musings on art and culture, robots spouting Shakespeare – there’s a lot going on. It might seem like a jumble for a while, but a clever narrative twist that I won’t spoil here gives everything in Automata purpose.

All this is wrapped up in a brilliant action combat system from Platinum, makers of Bayonetta, that combines flashy combos with deceptive simplicity. It’s no mystery why NieR Automata is still considered one of the genre greats, almost a decade after its initial release.